by Francisco H. Ciriza
While the do-it-yourself approach is most often associated with the independent music scene, Chile’s Los Tres is hardly representative of that marginalized segment of the music industry.
With its latest release, “Hágalo Usted Mismo,” (Nacional 2006) the veteran rockeros have reestablished themselves as one of the genre’s most enduring and influential groups of all time.
In the late eighties, the Chilean folk-based trio of vocalist and guitarist Alvaro Henríquez, bassist Roberto Lindl, and drummer Francisco Molina met guitarist Angel Parra after relocating to the capital city of Santiago from Concepción and Los Tres was born. The band, known for its sense of humor and penchant for writing upbeat often rockabilly-rooted songs, released its eponymous debut in 1991.
The decade provided the group ample time to deliver eight more full-length discs including an MTV Unplugged CD in 1996 and 1998’s “Peineta” which featured two Chilean folk icons, Roberto Parra and Eduardo Parra. Angel Parra is the grandson of Violeta Parra. After 1999’s, “La sangre en el Cuerpo” the group suddenly called it quits.
“We felt we were repeating ourselves and we also wanted to do other things. The difficulty in the machinery of the band had become insurmountable. The overall climate was no longer conducive to creativity nor to the necessary bonds between the group’s members,” said Los Tres’ bassist, Roberto Lindl recently from Chile.
Fortunately, the strong friendships that preceded the band’s success, allowed Lindl and company to think clearly and act deliberately. “We stopped before anything went horribly wrong. We’d been friends for years and years. We never wanted to lose that,” said Lindl.
Once time had allowed for Los Tres’ rejuvenation, the group’s members reassembled and jumped right back into being a well-functioning and cohesive unit.
“Once we got back together and writing and playing, everything went very quickly. We’re very happy and so are a lot of people with the return,” said Lindl.
“Hágalo Usted Mismo” not only finds Los Tres reunited with long-time producer Joe Blaney (The Clash, Prince, Charly Garcia) but also with their old friend Café Tacuba’s Emmanuel del Real, who in addition to contributing as an invited musician also produced and mixed several of the songs. “Emmanuel is a great guy and a very talented musician,” said Lindl.
The Los Tres/Café Tacuba dates back to the 2002 collaboration of the two groups on Tacuba’s four-song EP of Los Tres covers “Vale Callampa.” The project brought Los Tres back into the spotlight and introduced the trio to an international audience. Del Real has also recently accompanied Los Tres on-stage for two well-received, highly successful live appearances in Santiago and at the Vive Latino festival in Mexico City.